Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Office Pooper

This is what happens when you bake in Boston!
Yes, that’s right.  I got a job about 7 weeks ago.  I have been in shock.  It is the first time I have worked in the States since 2000.  I have to wake up at 6:15am and catch the trolley at 7:30am (in Boston, they call it the “T” but it is a two wagon trolley in my book) all the way downtown and switch lines to a more decent train and get off at Kendall Square.  I can’t remember the last time I woke up at 6:15am.  I think I had to wake up that early once to catch a flight but I really can’t remember as I am not a morning person AT ALL.  So, life as I have known it has changed.  I also went from having my own broom closet and two hour lunches to working from a cubicle with two screens from 8am-6pm.

Sometimes my eyes are so sealed shut despite the fact that I have showered and filled my eyes with an entire container of eye drops that I have to clean my glasses to make sure what I see on the trolley is for real.  The other day on my 7:30am commute, I saw a guy dressed in a suit eating oatmeal out of a huge glass mixing bowl with a silver spoon.  After he slurped that down, he proceeded to put the dirty bowl in a plastic bag that looked like the trolley ran over it a few times and then he shoved that into his tiny computer bag.  There were no hidden cameras – I looked!

Luckily, I do find that trolley ride entertaining.  Most people have their eyes shut or try to bang out emails on the phone or do things that I find not entirely trolley inappropriate (read above again).  I usually send out emails or chat on Whatsapp with my friends in Spain or London or I just watch what is going on like it is a bad sitcom. 

My co-workers are great.  I like almost everybody.  We arrange activities and chat amongst ourselves and lend a hand when needed.  Assistants rule the world, don’t ever forget that.  So the other day, a woman from my team sends out a “COOKIE SWAP” email.  I wasn’t sure what a “cookie swap” was but being that I was about to go to a “Cookie Party” that Saturday, I thought it was the same thing.  The emails trickle in by the dozen.  Every EA has confirmed.  One replied that she was going to make peanut butter cookies from the roll.  Hmm? I reply, “I’m in and I’ll make gluten-free cookies.”  A day for the “Cookie Swap” email was never confirmed.

Last Saturday, I went to a “Cookie Party” at a friend’s house from 1pm to 3pm.  Perfect time.  I baked peanut butter cookies from a recipe that a girl friend sent me that she got off of 

That Saturday morning I frantically ran to the grocery store to buy baking sheets, a cooling rack, and all of the ingredients.  I, admittedly, went to the grocery store in pajamas and a massive hangover but with the great spirit of “I am going to feel like Betty Crocker!!”

“Are you going to bake?” asked the cashier.
“Yes!!  I am going to a cookie party” it was so obvious by the goods I was buying when suddenly I realize I forgot to buy the PEANUT BUTTER for my PEANUT BUTTER cookies!
“Oh, NO! I forgot the peanut butter – the main ingredient.”
“We can hold your stuff while you go get it.”
“OK, cool! Thank you so much for asking if I was going to bake! – I can’t believe I forgot the main ingredient.” Who am I trying to fool?  The cashier thought I was nuts and I was too frazzled by the number of cookie sheets, baking racks, types of sugar, types of baking soda plus ridden by a hangover, I forgot the peanut butter.

I get home and start the baking.  I reread the directions three times.  I doubled the recipe just in case and thankfully I did because the first batch turned out like peanut butter balls.  The recipe said nothing about flattening the peanut butter gooeyness before baking.  The entire house smelled of a peanut butter heaven.

As I was rolling the balls for the second batch (while eating scoops of peanut butter from the jar), I hear a weird scrapping noise coming from the back of the apartment.  We have to leave the back door open because they blast the heat and otherwise, we would suffocate.   

After about 4 peanut butter balls, I wonder,

“What the hell is el Toro doing out there?”

I continue to roll balls and I continue to hear the weird noise.  I wash my hands and decide to go check.  I can’t believe my eyes!  There is a squirrel with his buttside facing inside hanging and walking all over the screen door!!! 

My cookies must have smelled delish to the critter.  He even let me take his photo several times. 

The second batch turned out great and they were definitely presentable for the cookie party.  I had nearly devoured the 12 unpresentable balls so 12 cookies would have to do.

The cookie party was fabulous.  I met more of my friend’s friends and I had a lovely time.  We each got to take a couple of each type of cookie home and it was just lots of fun.

“So ladies, how about we do the cookie swap on Thursday?” emails the coordinator.

After many more emails trickle in, we decide for Monday which was originally my idea.

Here’s the email:
“So, if there are 12 of us, we each need to make 6 dozen cookies.”

I practically fell out of my chair – I can barely make 12 cookies!  I run over to the next cubicle.

“Is she for real?” I asked.

I get the explanation for the “Cookie Swap” and here’s my email to the group:

“Count me out.”

I received a sad face from the coordinator.

So, I am officially the office pooper (it’s not a party after all).